Posted by Stephen Lendman Posted on 26 February 2020

Overt Trump Regime Support for Al-Qaeda Offshoot

Both right wings of the US war party support ISIS, Al-Qaeda, its offshoots, and likeminded terrorist groups in Syria and other countries where their fighters are deployed as Pentagon/CIA proxy troops.

Instead of explaining reality on the ground in US war theaters, establishment media blame nations victimized by its aggression for high crimes committed against them.

Syria is Exhibit A, US aggression ignored, government forces, greatly aided by Russian airpower, vilified for liberating cities, towns and villages from US-supported jihadists — what’s currently ongoing in Idlib province, the last stronghold in the country of these elements.

On Monday, Trump’s envoy for regime change in Syria James Jeffrey indirectly expressed support for Hayat Tahrir al-Sham — the al-Qaeda offshoot al-Nusra by another name.

Whatever its name, it’s labeled by the Security Council and State Department as a terrorist organization. It should be treated as one by all world community nations, clearly not the case.

Earlier this month, Jeffrey falsely claimed that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is not “planning or carrying out international terrorism attacks” — what its fighters are doing multiple times daily.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed his remarks and similar ones by other Trump regime officials, saying the following:

They “repeatedly made statements that mean that they consider Hayat Tahrir al-Sham to not be a terrorist organization as such, and that it would be possible under certain circumstances to enter into a dialogue with it,” adding:

“This is not the first time we hear such transparent hints, and we consider them completely unacceptable.”

Further talks between Russian and Turkish officials on the situation in Idlib will be held in the coming days.

Leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Turkey reportedly will meet on March 5 to discuss the situation in Idlib.

Moscow is committed to aiding Syria’s liberating struggle, focused in Idlib and surrounding areas at this time.  

The US, NATO, Turkey, and the UN want it halted on the phony pretext of protecting Syrian civilians.

Government and Russian forces are freeing them from captivity as human shields — held by US/Turkish-supported jihadists.

In September 2018, Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan agreed on establishing a 15 – 20 km-wide demilitarized zone in Idlib along the Turkish border.

The plan was for Russian and Turkish forces to control it for an interim period ahead of delayed liberating efforts.

Things didn’t go as planned. Instead of opposing jihadists in Idlib, Turkey supports them, supplying them with heavy weapons, letting them use the demilitarized zone as a platform to attack Syrian forces and civilians.

Lavrov stressed that “the deescalation zone (is used as) an escalation zone,” (US-Turkish supported jihadists using it to attack) targets outside the zone,” adding:

“Nobody ever agreed, within the framework of the agreements reached between the Russian and Turkish presidents, that terrorists would not be retaliated against if they act in the way they began to act, so there was nothing unexpected for anyone.”

“I am sure that the Turkish military, who work on the ground, see and understand everything perfectly.”

Indeed because they’re actively aiding jihadists combat government forces.

Separately, Pentagon spokesman Col. Myles Caggins admitted on UK Sky News that “Idlib (is) a magnet for terrorist groups…a variety of (them), a menace and a threat to the civilians.”

On Sunday, Putin discussed the situation in Idlib, saying the following:

Russian forces aiding Syria’s military “wiped out large, well-equipped terrorist groups, prevented major threats to our Motherland on distant frontiers and helped the people of Syria preserve the country’s sovereignty.”

Putin thanked Russian military personnel for their professionalism, combat capabilities, and moral fiber during Syria’s liberating campaign.

On the same day, Russian center for reconciliation in Syria head Admiral Oleg Zhuravlev explained the following:

“In the past 24 hours, 22 episodes of shelling have been registered” by jihadists in Idlib, 25 shelling incidents the previous day — against government forces and civilians, adding:

Russian military police are patrolling areas in Aleppo and al-Hasakah provinces “in conformity with approved plans,” no incidents reported over the past weekend.

Russian aircraft control airspace over these areas and Idlib. Russian center for reconciliation in Syria continues to provide humanitarian aid to liberated Syrians in need.

Russian doctors are treating Syrian civilians in need of medical care. Considerable efforts are being made to help liberated Syrian refugees return to their home areas.

On Monday, AMN News reported that Syrian forces “captured more towns and villages near Kafr Sijnah amid the complete collapse of the jihadist defenses in the southern part of” Idlib.

Southfront reported that despite Erdogan regime threats, Syrian forces “continued offensive operations against terrorists in greater Idlib,” liberating more areas.

Turkey “continue(s) paying the price for (its) Idlib gamble.” Russian warplanes struck Turkish-supported jihadists in areas where Ankara established so-called observation posts.

Turkish soldiers and jihadists they support suffered casualties, Russia showing it intends to continue combatting anti-government terrorists.

The Erdogan regime is concerned that advancing Syrian forces will push defeated al-Nusra and likeminded jihadists cross-border into Turkey in large numbers with weapons they’re able to carry, a potentially destabilizing situation.

In cahoots with the US and NATO, Turkey created this monster, now reaping the consequences of its actions.

Erdogan refused to ally with Russia’s liberating campaign, opposing it instead.

As things now stand, Turkish-supported jihadists in Idlib are on their back foot as government forces continue liberating more areas — greatly aided by Russian airpower.

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